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(Western) Samoa Red Cross Tsunami Relief Update
« on: October 06, 2009, 10:02:15 PM »
Samoa Red Cross Tsunami Relief Update

Tsunami Relief Update

5 October 2009

As soon as the alarm was raised on 29 September, Samoa Red Cross Society volunteers went into action, evacuating people from low-lying areas. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, they provided first aid and distributed water, tarpaulins, blankets, food and other emergency relief items.

The Samoa Red Cross welcomed assistance from members of the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Society's Field Assessment and Coordination (FACT), which comprised 11 experts in fields including restoring family links, water and sanitation, shelter, psychosocial support and health.

Samoa Red Cross volunteers and staff continue to assess people's needs at the same time as delivering essential supplies such as water, water containers and tarpaulins.

The Samoa Red Cross has had an excellent response to the request for volunteers with dozens of people sorting, loading and unloading supplies. In affected areas, staff and volunteers are distributing supplies and helping in the clean up efforts.

The response to request for donations to the Samoa Red Cross has been strong. Donors include individuals, families, communities and companies.

Local donors are encouraged to donate water containers, buckets, hygiene supplies, bedding, shelter supplies, cooking supplies, building tools and mosquito nets. International donors are encouraged to make cash donations which can be translated into goods that are needed now.

Official sources list 137 dead, 8 missing and 310 people treated at hospitals and clinics but mostly discharged. An estimated 26,000 people live along the affected coastline, with 15,000 particularly badly affected in 60 villages. The impact of the tsunami has been greatest in the south east region of Upolu including villages in Aleipata district and the villages of Poutasi and Lalomanu.

The International Federation has launched a preliminary appeal to help support the Samoa Red Cross Society deal with the tsunami. Read the appeal

On 29 September 2009, at the universal time of 17:48:07, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre reported an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 8.3 in the Pacific, off American Samoa; which generated a Pacific widetsunami warning. (At the local time of 0408hours the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre stated that a Tsunamiwarning was in effect for American Samoa, Samoa, Niue, Waliis-Futuna, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu,Kiribati, Kermadec Island, Fiji, Howland-Baker, Jarvis Island, New Zealand, French Polynesia, and PalmyraIsland).

The earthquake lasted over five minutes. The epicentre of the quake was located 190 km southwest of AmericanSamoa. Samoan reports say the wave that hit in Apia was 0.7 of a metre while the second, larger wave in PagoPago, in American Samoa, was measured at 1.7 metres.

Apia was evacuated by police and Red Cross volunteers and people sent to higher ground inland. Preliminary assessments indicate that low lying coastal areas of Apia have been affected with homes damaged and reportsof death and injuries. There are many different reports on the number of people killed or injured. Currently the Samoa ministry of human services have confirmed 55 people killed in Samoa. International media are indicatingthe death toll may reach 100.

United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) - trained staff have been deployed to conductpreliminary assessments, and current infomation indicates that up to 114 tourists are in an evacuation centrewhere they are being sheltered and assisted by the local government the village of Lalomanu, in the district ofAleitaca. The Samoan government is trying to assist with their transportation and housing. Unconfirmed reports are that there are 14 tourists missing and five dead. The tourists are said to be from New Zealand, United Kingdom, Germany and Uruguay. The main need in this area now is to evacuate the tourists and those injured. Another affected area is Poutasi, in the district of Salelili.

Contact Information:

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:
􀁸 Samoa: Samoa Red Cross, Ms. Tautala Mauala, Secretary General,
phone: +68523686; email: samoaredcross@samoa.ws

􀁸 Suva: Aurelia Balpe, Head of Pacific Regional Office, phone: +679 331 1855;
email: aurelia.balpe@ifrc.org

􀁸 Suva: Ruth Lane, Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Delegate, phone: +679 331 1855;
email: ruth.lane@ifrc.org
Federation Asia-Pacific zone office, Kuala Lumpur:

􀁸 Michael Annear, disaster management coordinator,
Phone: +603 9207 5726, mobile: +6012 234 6591, email: michael.annear@ifrc.org

􀁸 Penny Elghady, resource mobilization and PMER coordinator,
Phone: +603 9207 5775, fax: +603 2161 0670, email: penny.elghady@ifrc.org

􀁸 Please send all pledges of funding to zonerm.asiapacific@ifrc.org
􀁸 Jeremy Francis, regional logistics coordinator,
Phone: +6012 298 9752, fax: +60 3 2168 8573, email: jeremy.francis@ifrc.org



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